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Is the tank reef ready?

If so, it is very very easy to take one of the intakes, run it through a big CO2 reactor, to a pump, and return it. A big closed loop to aid flow, and dispurse CO2.

Those lights are going to run it as a high light tank. I'm using 8 39w bulbs in TEK fixtures, and can grow about anything I want to. I tried running all 12 bulbs - I have the same fixtures you are buying - and it was overkill, algae blossomed.

I killed Ludwigia Pantanal, but I think that has more to it being rather stubborn about being a water column feeder vs. a root feeder, and I don't dose my tank. Everything else grows very well, and colors fantastic under 8 of the 12 bulbs.

If you prepare it a certain way, you don't need those massive water changes. My tank is plumbed to my house. I do auto water changes, about 5 gallons a day. That's it.

Remember, though, I'm not dosing the water column (this was another reason I went to mineralized soil, the savings on ferts/water changes ferts require alone is massive!) at all - well, that's a lie... I dose .2 ppm potassium once every few days. ;)
 

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Remember the size of what you are doing, is my advice - I look at that second pic and go, "what a shame, he'll never see 90% of his rock work".

Here are some comparitive shots for you. First, setting up my 180g. Note, those are 30-40 pound rocks for the larger ones. Funny coincidence, but we were showing our club the Golden Ratio, so the lines you see of the pink yarn are the lines the gold ratio call out, take from both ends, and top and bottom.

http://www.gwapa.org/articles/january2008/

Rockwork and wood looks huge, right?

Not really. Here is my tank now:

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/library/53770-august-2008-tank-month-dave-williams.html

Don't envision a hardscape by what you see now. Envision it is a mature tank, and let the scape have the ability to still be seen and appreciated when the tank is full of plants.
 
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